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Tuesday, August 21 2018 @ 05:04 am PDT

Putin's Game

General NewsLike many of you, I'm spending a fair amount of my "free time" keeping an eye on what's happening in Ukraine. Perhaps unlike you, I have many Russian friends, some Ukrainian acquaintances and some almost-family types with strong Ukrainian ties. For these and other reasons, I have been very careful about my comments.

I'm not an expert on Ukraine, but I know Russia tolerably well. I know Orthodoxy. And I know a little something of the KGB of Putin's time.

Someone recently said that Russia is playing chess while the US is playing marbles. Keep that comment in mind with every article you read. Yes, it feels like the 1930s. And the 1980s. And 2008. We also need to remember Russia's Christian history and how this impacts their understanding of other territories.

However...

We're getting a little too wrapped up in how Pres. Obama screwed this up. Yes, I predicted that Putin would have Obama for breakfast. But we need to move beyond that to have any real sense of what is happening.

Any simplistic explanation of what Putin is doing is likely wrong.

This is chess. Putin makes a move with his opponent's responses in mind. If he takes a pawn or a knight, was that his endgame? Of course not; he wants the queen to move.

Does Putin want to return Russia to her "former glory?" Probably.

Is it narcissism, like so many Russian leaders of the past?

He takes a knight and moves back a few spaces. So what does he really want?
Probably something most of us don't see.

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